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Reinventing Liberal Christianity
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Reinventing Liberal Christianity


Eerdmans 2013

Runs on Windows, Mac and mobile.


In this provocative book, Theo Hobson addresses the current crisis of liberal Christianity. In past years liberal Christianity challenged centuries of authoritarian tradition and had great political influence. It played a major role in the founding of the United States and gave rise to the secular liberalism that we take for granted. But liberal Christianity today is widely dismissed as a watering-down of the faith, and more conservative forms of Christianity are increasingly dominant. Can the liberal Christian tradition recover its influence?

Hobson puts forth a bold theory about why liberal Christianity collapsed and how it can be reinvented. He argues that a simple revival is not possible, because liberal Christianity consists of two traditions—a good tradition that must be salvaged and a bad tradition that must be repudiated. Reinventing Liberal Christianity untangles these two traditions with a fascinating survey of Christian thought from the Reformation to the present and, further, aims to transform liberal Christianity through the rediscovery of faith and ritual.

In the Logos edition, this volume is enhanced by amazing functionality. Important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.

Get more resources for theological studies with the Eerdmans Theological Studies Collection

Key Features

  • Explores a fascinating survey of Christian thought
  • Aims to transform liberal Christianity
  • Presents a bold theory about how liberal Christianity can be reinvented


  • Roots
  • The Frail Vision
  • The Sacramental Deficiency
  • The Allure of Reason
  • American Disestablishment
  • Golden Age?
  • Beyond Progress
  • The Reaction
  • The Collapse
  • Postliberals

Praise for the Print Edition

Theo Hobson is as well qualified as anyone to set about the task of reinventing liberal Christianity. In this remarkable, wise, and incisive book he sets about that task with outstanding skill, presenting us with an accessible and arresting argument that is as compelling as it is convincing.

Martyn Percy, honorary canon, Salisbury Cathedral

This is an ambitious work that deals with central issues in contemporary public life and does so by delving into past and present theological debates. . . . It covers a wide range of sources, theological and secular, spanning the modern period, and Hobson’s style, as ever, combines clarity, boldness, and a certain dispatch with a good grasp of the material.

—George Pattison, canon, Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford

Hobson presents a lively, timely, theologically informed, and historically grounded argument for the compatibility of a sacramental Christianity with the traditions of the liberal state.

David Martin, emeritus professor of sociology, London School of Economics

For Christians who appreciate living in a liberal state and despair at ‘postliberal’ theology’s easy dismissal of it, this book is a delight. It argues for a robust version of liberal Christianity that affirms the communal and cultic aspects of Christianity, but does not neglect the individual and the institutions that protect his or her freedom.

—Linda Woodhead, professor, Lancaster University

Product Details

About Theo Hobson

Theo Hobson is a British theologian and journalist. He earned his PhD in theology from Cambridge and has written for The Guardian, The Spectator, and the Times Literary Supplement.

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